What no one tells you about creating your blog is just how much time you’re going to spend naming the damn thing.
I mean, we are talking about many, many evenings’ worth of time that would have been much better spent doing just about anything else (though preferably eating, drinking, or watching the latest Game of Thrones episode). And the longer I spent alone, wrapped up in all sorts of internal nomenclature debates, the worse the ideas got.
Thankfully, a few friends helped me rule out ‘Upper Crust’ (“What, are you just going to be writing about quiches for the queen?”) and ‘Later, Masticator!’ (elimination reasons hopefully obvious), but I alone made the choice not to call this little corner of the internet ‘Butter Me Up,’ and the reason for that was because at the time, I was convinced that I’d be mostly posting recipes of healthy, vegetable-heavy mains, and I’d thought that a name based primarily on baked goods would be misleading.
Naturally, two months down the line, I’m at two pies, two cakes, a dessert-for-breakfast cereal, a mostly-sugar tea beverage, and just one measly little post about vegetables!
Ladies & Gents, it’s time to bust out the kale.
That little gem in the centre is what we’re looking for. Though of course, its fancy purple sister would work just as well.
You’re also going to want some beautiful butternut squash:
Now just grab a handful of cooked grains, spinach, and toasted nuts, and you’ve got yourselves a meal!
Veggies to the rescue!
Warm Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Toasted Almonds
This recipe’s a mash-up of three different ones from Heidi Swanson’s lovely cookbook, Super Natural Every Day
- 1 medium or medium-large butternut squash, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs miso paste
- 3 1/2 cups lightly packed kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small bunch of spinach, well-rinsed and chopped
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsps vegetable bouillon powder
- 1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds
- 2 cups cooked farro, brown rice, quinoa, or any other grain of your choice
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large pyrex dish, mix the squash with the olive oil and miso.
3. In a small bowl, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, and olive oil together. Place kale on a lined baking sheet or medium pyrex dish, pour the mixture over it, and toss with your hands until evenly coated.
4. Pop the kale and squash in the oven at the same time. The kale will take about 12-18 minutes, and should be stirred once or twice. Remove when slightly crispy and set aside. The butternut should bake for about 40 minutes total, until soft and easily pierced with a fork — if you’d like, you can speed this up a bit by increasing the oven to 375F once the kale is out.
5. Meanwhile, in the largest pot or pan you can find, heat the 1Tbs of oil on medium-high, then add the onion. Cook until softened, then add the bouillon powder and garlic. Cook for two more minutes or until garlic begins to brown, and remove from heat. (Now might also be a good time to cook up your grains, unless you’ve got them prepared already.)
6. Once the squash is done, all you’ve got to do is assemble your feast! Heat your large pan back up, and mix the kale and hot squash in with the onions and garlic. Add the spinach and grains, and stir until spinach is slightly wilted. Serve sprinkled with almonds on top.
p.s. if you were to add lentils, beans, tofu, or any other protein to this, you’ve got yourself a serious main course. I’d served this with lentil soup to start, so left the extras out this time.
p.p.s. yes, it has occurred to me since writing this post that ‘One Tough Cookie’ is also pretty likely, as far as blog names go, to make you think this is all about baking.
p.p.p.s. it has also been brought to my attention (hi, Dad!) that the name miiiiight make it sound as though I don’t know how to cook — which means you’ll just have to make these recipes and decide for yourselves!
p.p.p.p.s. sugar- and butter-laden recipes to resume shortly. Don’t. Panic.